Supreme Court of Canada to hear union's appeal of case concerning random alcohol testing in workplace
In a decision issued on March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada announced that it would hear the appeal of a case involving an employer's right to conduct random alcohol testing in the workplace
Some key facts concerning the case: read more »
The New Brunswick government has introduced amendments to expand the reservist leave under the Employment Standards Act.
The government's Novemember 30, 2011 News Release states:
Amendments to the leave for reservists provisions of the Employment Standards Act were introduced in the legislative assembly today by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Martine Coulombe.
The proposed bill will recognize and facilitate the critical work done by reservists to protect the national interests, both in Canada and overseas, by expanding the existing leave provisions; providing reservists and their employers with greater clarity on their rights and responsibilities; and helping the Canadian Forces Reserve Command in planning deployments and training. read more »
Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law
The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.
New Brunswick court quashes arbitrators' ruling that random alcohol testing policy at mill was unreasonable
On judicial review. the New Brunswick Queens Bench court has quashed an arbitration board's ruling concerning the reasonableness of a worklace random alcohol testing policy.
In a decision issued November 16, 2009, the majority of the arbitration board had ruled that the policy was not reasonable and thus not enforceable.
The court's decision - which was issued on September 20, 2010 - has not yet been posted to publically accessible database.
However, Toronto lawyer Dan Michaluk has been able to get his hands on the decision and has posted it on his "All About Information" blog:
New Brunswick's minimum wage increased to $9 effective today. The increase is part of a long-term plan announced by the New Brunswick government in January 2010 that will see that province's minimum wage reach $10 on September 1, 2011.
The B.C. Federation of Labour marked the occasion by issuing a media release calling for a $10 an hour minimum wage in British Columbia with future increases linked to annual cost of living increases.
A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status":
- It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
- Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
- Quebec uses the term "civil status".
- The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".
(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).
Does the Ontario Human Rights Code ("OHRC") protect employees charged with a criminal offence? The answer is "no" based on a series of decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") over the last year.
Ontario Human Rights Code
The OHRC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an employee's "record of offences". The OHRC states that "record of offences" means a conviction for:
(a) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or
(b) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.
Decision in de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc.
In a February 2009 decision, de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc. 2009 HRTO 172 (CanLII), the chair of the OHRT ruled that the "record of offences" provisions do not encompass criminal charges. Specifically, he stated: read more »
The Government of New Brunsiwck announced today that the minimum wage will be increasing in that province in four steps:
- April 1, 2010: an increase of 25 cents to $8.50 per hour;
- Sept. 1, 2010, an increase of 50 cents to $9 per hour;
- April 1, 2011: an increase of 50 cents to $9.50 per hour; and
- Sept. 1, 2011: an increase of 50 cents to $10 per hour.
The increases are part of a long-term plan to meet the Atlantic average by September 1, 2011. The basic minimum wage in New Brunswick is currently $8.25.
The BC Federation of Labour, in a news release, pointed to the New Brunswick increase to renew its call on the BC government to increase the minimum wage in this province to $10 an hour with annual increases linked to increases in the cost of living.
For more information about the minimum wage debate in BC, see this post I wrote in March 2009.